Key Words

JEMfriend- A JEMfriend is any person who joins the JEMfriends community by praying, giving financially, or volunteering.

Foster Care- Foster care is the system in the U.S. in which a minor who has been made a ward of the state is placed in the private home of a state-certified caregiver, referred to as a “foster parent.”

Children’s Home- A children’s home today is what has been historically referred to as an orphanage.  These are homes where children in foster care are placed under certain situations (if they have experienced a failed adoption or if all their family is deceased, for example).

Failed Adoption- A failed adoption is a case in which an adoption procedure was not successful.  Many times this is due to cultural barriers between the adopted child and their new parents and family.  Therefore, a higher rate of failed adoptions occur with international adoptions.  When this happens, the adopted child often becomes a ward of the state and enters the foster care system or a more permanent state placement, like a children’s home.

Aging Out (Aged-out)- “Aging out” is a term used to describe the process of a child in foster care reaching a certain age and no longer being eligible for care in the system.  It is the transition of a youth from the formal control and support of the foster care system (including schooling, foster home, and financial support) to the responsibility of living independently.  Usually, this transition comes when the youth reaches the age of independent legal standing (18).  For many foster youth, turning eighteen also means that they no longer have a home, a family, or anyone to give them advice or moral support.  This process is often very hard, and few youth successfully transition without becoming a “statistic.”

Support system- Family is usually the strongest support system of any given individual.  Youth leaving foster care desperately need a group of people to become the support system they are lacking. Private individuals and organizations that strive to provide this support can teach youth important life skills, help them to make healthy decisions, and encourage them through difficult seasons.